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October 5, 2016: For Immediate Release

City of Sparks
Adam Mayberry Community Relations 775-353-7894
Francine Burge, Special Events, 775-353-7856

GWN Events
Aaron Soroka, Chief Operating Officer 416-997-2453

Immunize Nevada
Mary Skau, Communications Manager, 775-624-7116

New 2017 Event Unveiled for Sparks Marina
Next summer our region has one more must-attend event added to the busy line-up of great festivals. City of Sparks, Immunize Nevada and GWN Events have announced that the Northern Nevada International Dragon Boat Festival will be held on Saturday August 19, 2017 at Sparks Marina! With a slogan “It’s Happening Here”, it was only a matter of time before our region hosted its first dragon boat race!

The producer, Aaron Soroka with Major League Dragon Boat, saw the Marina in 2013 and noted the eighty acres of water that accommodates swimming, boating, fishing, and scuba diving, and concluded that the venue is perfect for dragon boat racing. The event is one of ten events on the MLDB calendar, which runs internationally from April to October.

The event has a local fundraising partner, Immunize Nevada, which will help produce the event by providing teams and volunteers. “The promotion of health and wellness through an inclusive sport makes it a natural fit,” said Heidi Parker, of Immunize Nevada. “We’re excited to not only help bring this event to the Marina, but to introduce ourselves to new friends.”

The event has been on the planning table for many years and actively sought out by the City of Sparks. “This is a near perfect event for our Marina.  It’s unique and easily accessible for any fitness level; it will help raise funds and awareness for Immunize Nevada, but we are most encouraged that this event will drive annual sports tourism since dragon boat racing is popular in the Bay Area, Sacramento Area, and Northwest,” said Francine Burge, Special Event Supervisor of the City of Sparks. She was the lead with the RSCVA to bring the event to Sparks.

Dragon boat racing is made up of up to 20 members in a boat with a steer and a drummer. The most common distance is 500m, with top teams competing at a 2:30-3:00 minute range pace. Registration, which is now open, runs from $745-$1,045 with discounts for early sign ups. The cost includes spots for 20 paddlers and drummer, the boat, life vests, paddles and pre-event coaching.

Paddlers, weekend warriors, and families are invited to join in the festivities and excitement throughout the day at the Sparks Marina! The event will feature vendors and exhibitors in the Health and Wellness Village, Beer Garden, Food Truck Bazaar, Kids Fun Zone, and more.